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  1. #1
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    How To Post A Product On Blog? Total Newb Question
    Hi,

    Ok. I need someone to tell me if I'm doing this right before I go any further.

    I'm starting a new site, my first affiliate site. I'm starting to write posts and I'm including pictures of the shirts in each post. I'm selling t-shirts.

    This is what I've been doing. Saved them as drafts, haven't officially posted them yet.

    1) I go to a merchant site, say Busted Tees, and find a shirt I like.
    2) I download the image to my desktop so I can rename it and resize if necessary.
    3) I copy the product page URL
    4) I go to the Affiliate Network (say SAS), then the merchant, then I create a custom link.
    5) I upload the image to a new post and link to merchant product page.
    6) I write around the image, maybe include a text link to product page and at the end include a button linked to the Product Page on the merchant's site.

    Am I doing this correctly?
    Can I use bit.ly or some other url shortner and should I use that shortened url for all links?
    Is there a WordPress plugin I should be using?

    I guess I thought when I began that the merchant's products would be displayed on the Affiliate Network. Not seeing that. But, I'm ok doing it this way if that's the correct way of doing things.

    Can anyone offer advice? Thanks

  2. #2
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I never go to the merchant's site for product links.
    Each network has a method for distributing the product urls.
    I go to the network and copy the product links they make available
    to me. I make minor changes on the fly (usually a change in size).
    I usually write content/copy and copy & paste the merchant product
    links simultaneously.

    SAS: main page
    ===> Top navigation
    ====>Go to Links Get a link/banner or View merchants with datafeeds
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^That's where you find the individual product links to use
    If you want a shortener you can go to get a custom link

    Each network has stuff like that. Don't copy links from an actual merchant site.
    Last edited by Rhia7; January 6th, 2013 at 08:28 PM.
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  3. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Wouldn't suggest using a shortened URL for an affiliate link, its another step that can break tracking. What do you care if the length it long it the HTML test that the reader sees.

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  5. #4
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    View merchants with datafeeds
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^That's where you find the individual product links to use
    Ok, got it. So I tried searching on some of the products in the datafeed and found individual products only showed if I used the right product name. So, I went to the merchant site, found a shirt I liked, went to the datafeed search and entered the name there. And, perfect! A selection of links to choose from.

    Does that sound right?

    What do you care if the length it long it the HTML test that the reader sees.
    It's not that I care about the length of the link, I guess I thought people cloaked so their links wouldn't get hi-jacked.

    Also, I was planning on using a shortener for social media. What do you think?

  6. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChgoWriter View Post
    Ok, got it. So I tried searching on some of the products in the datafeed and found individual products only showed if I used the right product name. So, I went to the merchant site, found a shirt I liked, went to the datafeed search and entered the name there. And, perfect! A selection of links to choose from.

    Does that sound right?
    That sounds right

    Quote Originally Posted by ChgoWriter View Post
    It's not that I care about the length of the link, I guess I thought people cloaked so their links wouldn't get hi-jacked.

    Also, I was planning on using a shortener for social media. What do you think?
    I don't usually use shorteners. Do other people?
    Would they protect against hi-jacks? I wonder.

    Some people use httc access or something like that but that's beyond me.
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  7. #6
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    Ok, good. Now I know about linking. I did like using the images form the merchant site, though. They had models wearing them instead of just the shirts.

    I think I got the idea from this post

  8. #7
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChgoWriter View Post
    Ok, good. Now I know about linking. I did like using the images form the merchant site, though. They had models wearing them instead of just the shirts.
    Merchant sites want some coolness to themselves.
    You could get in trouble copying from a merchant site: you could
    lose your affiliate status and there can be legal hassles.

    Save yourself grief and just use the product images provided.

    If you wanted to post a picture of yourself wearing a t-shirt on your
    own site I believe that would be okay but that image would not be
    a trackable affiliate image.
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  9. #8
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChgoWriter View Post
    Ok, good. Now I know about linking. I did like using the images form the merchant site, though. They had models wearing them instead of just the shirts.

    I think I got the idea from this post
    That's why it's good to perform forum searches first.
    Many questions have already been answered and the answers still
    apply
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  10. #9
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    That's where I'm a little confused.

    I'm fine with using the links on SAS. It's easier and faster. But, I got the impression from Chuck's response that as long as I was honestly trying to sell a merchant's product, I'd probably be ok. Now that I re-read the post, maybe if I decide to go with method 1, I should check with the affiliate manager first.

    I plan on posting a lot of images. I think method two might be much easier and probably easier on my bandwidth.

  11. #10
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    ChgoWriter, I suggest that you take the beginning tour made available
    by each network in order to figure out how to cut & paste a product image
    link. Each network has instructions and/or a video or something like that

    Now if you are looking for a batch method, that's with Ftp access and I think
    it requires advanced programming with php and/or mysql -- I don't do that.

    The other alternative is to go with programs such as popshops, goldencan, etc... I don't do those either. I'm a manual copy & paste affiliate.
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  12. #11
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    Ha! That's what I've been doing. Unfortunately, SAS doesn't have the best tutorials...at least not when it comes to choosing individual products to feature on a blog.
    I think another problem I run into is many products not showing up in the datafeed's search product. Frustrating.

    The other alternative is to go with programs such as popshops, goldencan, etc
    Yes. I actually plan on using either PopShops or SellFire to add a shop component to my site. I've been testing each out the last couple of days. I plan on having a shop and a blog where I can write about (not really review, just point out that I like) individual products.

    I'm getting there. I do appreciate all your input. Thanks.

  13. #12
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChgoWriter View Post
    Ha! That's what I've been doing. Unfortunately, SAS doesn't have the best tutorials...at least not when it comes to choosing individual products to feature on a blog.
    I don't understand your complaint.
    When you get a product link from SAS it is often featured in 3 different sizes or so.
    Each network will give basic instructions on how to find the product link and then you cut & paste it into your site/blog.
    If you really want a green shirt instead of a blue one you can contact the AM/OPM for such a
    picture product but you might need some leverage in order to get special attention, maybe not, try it.
    "Choosing individual products to feature" sounds as if you are looking for marketing techniques.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChgoWriter View Post
    Yes. I actually plan on using either PopShops or SellFire to add a shop component to my site. I've been testing each out the last couple of days. I plan on having a shop and a blog where I can write about (not really review, just point out that I like) individual products.

    I'm getting there. I do appreciate all your input. Thanks.
    My perspective on sites/blogs is to minimize costs.
    If you put in the quality time you can get lots of products w/o popshops or
    Sellfire. You can experiment but I wouldn't pay for those services. On the
    other hand, some people love those services.

    Best of luck
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  14. #13
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Merchant sites want some coolness to themselves.
    You could get in trouble copying from a merchant site: you could
    lose your affiliate status and there can be legal hassles.
    I personally give permission for affiliates to use images from the site, that's what they are there for, to sell the products. You should contact the AM and ask if there are any issues. If so they can make those images into affiliate banners and provide to all in the program. That is what I do.

  15. #14
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChgoWriter View Post
    when it comes to choosing individual products to feature on a blog.
    I think precision is best. I'd focus on 1 or 2 per page
    in a blog. Try it then try a different way and see which
    gives better results.

    [That's one reason I wouldn't pay for a batch program.
    Who needs that when only a few products are featured
    per page of a blog?]
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7 View Post
    That's one reason I wouldn't pay for a batch program.
    Who needs that when only a few products are featured
    per page of a blog?]
    I use PopShops for my websites/blog and one thing that the service provides that saves me time is letting me know when a product is out of stock. This alerts me to find a replacement product for that page, therefore saving sales. It's a real time saver from having to manually check all your links.

  17. #16
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    I don't understand your complaint.
    When you get a product link from SAS it is often featured in 3 different sizes or so.
    Each network will give basic instructions on how to find the product link and then you cut & paste it into your site/blog.
    It's not really a complaint. From what I've seen of affiliate networks so far, SAS doesn't have the greatest tutorials. That's all. I do understand how to search the datafeed for products, problem is, many of the products my merchants carry don't show up when I search. I'm guessing their not included in the datafeed. So, if I see a shirt I like at Busted Tees, go to the feed and search products, it very well may not be there. So far this is the case more often than not. Which brings up the question: If it's not in the datafeed but on the site can I still sell it?

    As for banners and such...I will have banners on my site. That code is very easy to find and there are many banners and text links available.

    "Choosing individual products to feature" sounds as if you are looking for marketing techniques.
    This is what I'm trying to do: The first image (with the model is from the website. The second image is from datafeed.)

    I'm showing you these just so you guys understand what I'm after on my site. I think Chuck's point is the way I should go if I decide I really have to have images from the site. I need to contact the AM.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #17
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Chnggo Writer asked "If it's not in the datafeed but on the site can I still sell it?"

    Usually if it's not on the datafeed, I hope the viewer will go to the general
    site and find it. I don't display items not included in the batch of products
    the AM/OPM/merchant makes available. I figure if they wanted it to be
    available they would have done so.
    Do not assume that you are free to go to the actual merchant site and copy
    anything you want. Contact your affiliate manager, it's up to him/her.

    I understand you would prefer to have a pic of a model wearing the t-shirt
    than just to have a picture of the t-shirt folded on a table or however the
    close-up of the pic is being displayed, but maybe the product pictures were
    distributed that way for a reason. Again, contact the AM.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  20. #18
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    ChgoWriter - Just a heads up about this merchant. They may not be very attentive to their program as their datafeed hasn't been updated since 10/28/10. Not a good sign. Lots of shirt merchants out there so you may want to join several of them.

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  22. #19
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Two good tips from Msladybug

    Quote Originally Posted by msladybug View Post
    ChgoWriter - Just a heads up about this merchant. They may not be very attentive to their program as their datafeed hasn't been updated since 10/28/10. Not a good sign. Lots of shirt merchants out there so you may want to join several of them.
    and earlier she gave a good reason why an affiliate might want to
    use PopShops:

    Quote Originally Posted by msladybug View Post
    I use PopShops for my websites/blog and one thing that the service provides that saves me time is letting me know when a product is out of stock. This alerts me to find a replacement product for that page, therefore saving sales. It's a real time saver from having to manually check all your links.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  24. #20
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    I understand you would prefer to have a pic of a model wearing the t-shirt
    than just to have a picture of the t-shirt folded on a table or however the
    close-up of the pic is being displayed, but maybe the product pictures were
    distributed that way for a reason. Again, contact the AM.
    Yeah, that makes sense. I'm going to contact the AM's as needed.

    Which brings me to:
    Just a heads up about this merchant. They may not be very attentive to their program as their datafeed hasn't been updated since 10/28/10. Not a good sign. Lots of shirt merchants out there so you may want to join several of them.
    Now that makes a lot of sense. I've been going through merchant feeds all weekend. I've been trying to see which are with PopShops and which are with SellFire if either. What I'm finding with t-shirt merchants is that many don't seem to keep up on things. Lot's of products on their websites, not so many in the feeds. I think it may just be the industry.

    My solution for the moment is to keep applying to merchants. I can more selective later maybe, but for now I'll apply to many. I need to get things on my site because I'm guessing the ones who don't have auto accept might want to see something there.

    Thanks again.

  25. #21
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChgoWriter View Post
    My solution for the moment is to keep applying to merchants. I can more selective later maybe, but for now I'll apply to many. I need to get things on my site because I'm guessing the ones who don't have auto accept might want to see something there.
    Good strategy
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  26. #22
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    Well here's an update:

    I've been waiting to hear from CJ. Was a member a long time ago but never used it. I received a promo in my email box, but never a password. Went to Cj just now, requested a password and one was sent. I guess I'm in. WooHoo!

    First impressions? A much better interface and it looks like maybe that's where the datafeed energy goes. We'll see. It opens up a lot of doors though.

    Question...I can be an affiliate of the same merchant through more than one Affiliate Network, Yes?

  27. #23
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Usually a merchant will not accept you into a program via more than one network, due to the potential risk of both network's pixel's firing when a sale is made, thus risking double commission.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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    US Programs | Canada Programs | UK Programs | Ireland Programs | Mainland Europe Programs

  28. #24
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChgoWriter View Post
    Question...I can be an affiliate of the same merchant through more than one Affiliate Network, Yes?
    The answer to this question may be up for debate

    My advice is to try out the functions of each network in
    question and see how you like the delivery of results.
    I would choose one specific network per one specific merchant.
    The reason why I would choose one over the other is to
    minimize accounting problems.
    I once joined the same merchant on 2 separate networks and
    then an a tracking/accounting problem occurred.

    You can choose a variety of t-shirt merchants on all the networks
    but choose just one network per affiliate merchant.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  29. #25
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    You can choose a variety of t-shirt merchants on all the networks
    but choose just one network per affiliate merchant.
    Thank you. That's exactly what I'm going to do.

    Cj has a MUCH more in-depth training material and, from what I can tell so far, maybe more products listed with the merchants. The interface is much more what I expected to find.

    As for my original question...I think Chuck's point that some site may want to save the "Coolness" for their own sites makes sense. I will approach Am's if need be.

    As for the rest...I think I've been very frustrated trying to find products I like on SAS. As I said, CJ might be the answer.

    Thanks for everything everybody. You've all been great and very helpful. I think my question is answered for now. I believe it's time for me to go through the CJ tutorials, apply to a bunch of merchants and then, once accepted, drop them from SAS. I'll be back, though, I'm sure.

    Thanks again!

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